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Citizenship Speaker Series
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David Schmidtz
After Solipsism
Friday, September 25, 2015, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
Orton Hall 110
155 Oval Drive South 43210


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David Schmidtz

David Schmidtz is Kendric Professor and founding director of the Center for Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona. His 14 former doctoral students all hold faculty positions and have published articles in Journal of Philosophy and Ethics. Oxford, Cambridge, and Princeton University Presses have published their books. In political philosophy, Arizona is ranked as the world's No. 1 graduate program by the Philosophical Gourmet.

Schmidtz is editor-in-chief of Social Philosophy and Policy, which has the largest circulation among analytic philosophy journals in the western world. He is author of Rational Choice and Moral Agency (Princeton), Elements of Justice (Cambridge), Person, Polis, Planet (Oxford), and co-author of Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility (Cambridge, with Bob Goodin) plus Brief History of Liberty (Blackwell, with Jason Brennan).

He currently is working on Markets in Education with Harry Brighouse for Oxford University Press. Essays of his have been reprinted 80 times in 12 languages as of 2015.


Philippa Foot once said, "When anthropologists or sociologists look at contemporary moral philosophy they must be struck by a fact about it which is indeed remarkable: that morality is not treated as an essentially social phenomenon." What would it be like to treat morality as an essentially social phenomenon? Consider how plausible it would be, if utility were all that mattered, to think consequentialist morality is about maximizing utility. Schmidtz will focus on how much less plausible that reduction becomes if, as a matter of empirical fact, affecting people's payoffs is only one of several ways affecting people. What if you also affect how other people act? What if you affect their reasons for action?


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